Boskie travels meaningful path from pro ball to GCU student to film

Shawn Boskie was inducted into the GCU Hall of Fame in 2024.

Photos by Ralph Freso

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story originally appeared in the April issue of GCU Magazine.

The question hung there for Shawn Boskie, like it does for many professional athletes leaving a successful career on the field: What’s next?

The recent Grand Canyon University Alumni Hall of Fame inductee started his college journey at Modesto Junior College in California. After his first year, he started playing college baseball, which turned into a 15-year career in the major leagues. Drafted in the first round by the Chicago Cubs in 1986, he would go on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies, Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles and Montreal Expos.

For the duration of his baseball career, Boskie put college on hold, but after spring training brought him to Phoenix, his heart was stirred to reconsider earning
a college degree.

“At the time, I didn’t think you necessarily had to have your college degree to be successful in life,” Boskie said. “But I like learning, and I like achieving things, so it was kind of a natural thing. You are making progress toward your goal.”

Some of his friends attended GCU at the time, and he was regularly showing up to GCU’s baseball stadium (now GCU Ballpark) for practices and workouts.
So Boskie applied to GCU, and after a year and a half, earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and economics. His time as a Lope gave him more than just academic success. He also grew in his faith and solidified his relationship with God.

“It’s the Biblical foundation that is it for me, why I love GCU. When I enrolled in my courses here, everything was done with a foundation that’s solid from a biblical perspective.”

But that unavoidable life question caught up to Boskie again: What’s next?

Colangelo College of Business Dean John Kaites, right, and 2024 Hall of Fame inductee Shawn Boskie during the induction ceremony on March 2, 2024.

“Back when I was playing baseball, people asked me regularly what I was going to do when my career was over, and I didn’t know the answer to that.

“My wife and I went to this little career path ministry weekend seminar. It was all about God’s plan for work, gifts, interests, relationships, how you are going to get a job that is right for you and more.

“At the end, they asked us to write our mission statement based off what we learned, and I wrote that I would be involved with something that had a larger social impact but with an eternal significance. Eternally significant means people are involved, and larger social impact means they are good for the community.”

This personal mission statement marked the beginning of a long and fruitful career in various ministries.

Boskie started by raising funds for Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal nonprofit organization in which lawyers defend religious freedom and sanctity of life issues. Just a year and a half later, he became the head of its development team, grants and foundations.

“You have to lead with vision. You have to cast a vision that people can get behind, and it dawned on me that I was doing something with a larger social impact.

“I really loved it.”

This work consumed the next 10 years of Boskie’s life. In those years, he built a large network and connections with other professionals, including people that fund Christian films.

Pure Flix, just across the parking lot from Alliance Defending Freedom, where Boskie worked, was where he met company founder Russell Wolfe.

Immediately, Boskie thought of ways the two companies could work together. He was curious to know more about film. After discovering Pure Flix was in the middle of filming “God’s Not Dead,” Boskie helped Wolfe promote the movie.

He soon switched from fundraising for legal Christian advocacy to Christian films.

2024 Hall of Fame inductee Shawn Boskie looks on with his wife during the Induction Ceremony on March 2, 2024.

He started raising funds consistently for streaming platforms with a goal of impacting the culture through entertainment media.

After Pure Flix sold to Sony, Boskie began his own film company that would produce Christ-centered work. He founded Canyon Productions in 2021 and has been involved in the film industry for more than 10 years.

In addition, Boskie has served as a board member for two evangelism and discipleship-based ministries, Elevate Phoenix and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, for 30 years. He works closely with athletes and mentors them in their faith while continuing to be heavily involved in athletics.

“It is easy for me to speak to athletes about what it’s like to compete and still be a believer. When I first became a Christian as an athlete, I immediately panicked, thinking I am going to be a nerd, weak and not aggressive. It was a serious conern.

“It turns out there are some athletes that are devoted believers and followers of Christ that are fierce competitors. Once I started seeing a few of those, I thought if they could do it, I could do it.”

But his influence doesn’t stop there. Boskie is also a board member for GCU’s Colangelo College of Business and College of Arts and Media.

“To me, it’s an honor to be involved where they entrust you to be an ambassador. It’s an honor just to say you are involved. Now I just want to make contributions that will help advance those particular departments.”

When Boskie was among the latest inductees into the Alumni Hall of Fame in March, he said, “When I look at some of the other names that have been inducted, I would have never imagined that I would even get on the radar screen. This is really humbling and a tremendous honor."

GCU staff writer Izabela Fogarasi can be reached at [email protected]

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Bible Verse

(King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:) "How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears." (2 Samuel 7:22)

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